Tag Archive: summer


916 Acklen Ave., in Nashville

When my family went to South Dakota on vacation to see where our parents met and were married, we found out that the church where the wedding had been had been torn down. It became a running joke that continues to this day. Anytime we couldn’t find the building we were looking for, I would say “they tore it down.”

Last Friday, the 14th, after visiting NAMM one last time, Cameron and I then drove to the area of Nashville where I lived in the ’70s. Going

Picture of a bad picture from the ’70s

through Hillsboro Village, we saw that the Villager was still open. Joel Nichols and I played there. Of course Belmont College and Vanderbilt College have expanded incredibly. There is a fraternity on Music Row. It’s quite a bit different than the street I walked with my songs on cassette, shopping publishers. Thankfully though, it’s still recognized as Music Row, there are still some publishers there, and most of the businesses are music or arts related. In the same buildings, with a few remodels.

916 Acklen Avenue today

A number of years back, Cyndy and I took the same basic drive, although it looked quite a bit different. I wanted to show the children the house I lived in. And – you saw it coming didn’t you – they tore it down.  In the picture above, the door on the far right was the door to our apartment upstairs.

I wanted to show Cameron where it was and I wanted to get a picture. 916 Acklen Avenue is a parking lot for the church across the street. Which is larger than it was then. There was a lot of good music made in that house. A lot of other things were done there too, but mainly a lot of good music. I wouldn’t expect a historical marker, but they could have at least put a plaque in the sidewalk. Just sayin’……..

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Crystal Gayle

Cameron and I arrived in Nashville in time to  check into the hotel and be at Music City Center to register for Summer NAMM  just before 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 13.  After a mad dash around the show floor, we headed upstairs for the American Eagle Awards of the National Music Council  (NMC).

David Sanders, director of the NMC, welcomed the audience  and talked about the awards and the past recipients. Then he introduced Richard Leigh, who introduced Crystal Gayle before presenting her with the award. During her acceptance speech, she talked about growing up in Butcher Hollow and how valuable music was to her and what a vital service the NMC and its members do to involve children in music. Gayle asked Richard to play while she sang Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Which is only appropriate, considering he was the songwriter of the song.

Patti Smith

John Ingrassia introduced Patti Smith and presented her award. He talked about her long history of arts, music, and activism involvement. He said that she was also a very good and devoted mother. When Patti reached the microphone, she said that she hadn’t known she was going to have to say anything, so she didn’t bring any remarks. In true Patti Smith fashion, it was not long before she was off and running about activism, music, and working together – quite eloquently, in her own way. She sang a song with her bass player on acoustic guitar. There was noise and activity around me, so I didn’t get the name of the song.

Paul Shaffer introduced Harry Shearer with the worst introduction I have heard- and I’ve heard a few. He said he had his comments on his phone, but I’m not sure there was anything on it. He babbled some stupid jokes – including one that I will not repeat and that repulsed the audience. Everyone held their breath for a second, wondering if he had really said what they heard. Harry’s reaction seemed a cross between surprise, pain, and trying to act nonchalant. Then Shaffer sat down at the keyboard to play a song for Shearer. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it fell as flat as his jokes, only with music – which wasn’t all that swell either.

Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer brought it back in line by talking about the real reason he was there – as a passionate advocate for creators and artists. Among other things, he was voice-over artist on The Simpsons and writer for Fernwood 2 Night. He played bassist Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap. He has received to this day $18 for Spinal Tap. An effort has been underway for some time for those involved to recoup the money they should have made. That is a large part of what fueled his activism for creators and artists.

After Harry’s acceptance speech, the entire ensemble joined together on stage to play Patti Smith’s People Have the Power. Shearer played a ukulele bass and Shaffer actually sounded good on keyboard. Patti felt the spirit rise up in her. No doubt stirred up by the memory of co-writing and performing the song with her late husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, from MC5. Many people got into the spirit of the activist song while others weren’t quite sure. As an old hippie, I thought it was great. It was a perfect end to the awards.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Dan at session with headphones With only one session on Saturday morning, Cameron dropped me off at Music City Center and went to pick up a few things for the drive later that afternoon. I covered the booths at Summer NAMM I hadn’t been able to visit earlier. At 11 a.m., I went to one of the two booths where they held sessions throughout the event. The session was at the Idea Center Booth and was entitled DIY – Marketing for Musicians.

The two session booths had wireless headphones on each chair and the presenters had earphones and wireless mics. If you wanted to ask a question you had to flag down the person with the microphone. There were sound barrier sheets on each side of the “booth” to keep out the sounds of the exhibit hall as much as possible. There were times when the headphones or the mics would cut out, but that’s to be expected with speakers holding the wireless mics wrong, and a building full of electronic and wireless equipment and computers.

Half way through the session, I realized I probably wouldn’t learn anything new. The speaker was keeping to basic information. I’ve been to enough sessions on the subject that I should have a t-shirt. I became bored so I took the picture of myself with the headphones. But the information was new to some of the attendees, because they were taking notes like crazy. Which makes it worth it for them. And the information was not wrong, it was just the basics.

I took off my headphones and met Cameron. We went out on the terrace, got something to eat, and watched the band that was playing. Then we walked down and got in line for the American Eagle Awards of the National Music Council. This year Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, and the Grand Ole Opry were honored. I was looking forward to seeing them. We were finally let into the hall (after the VIPs had a chance to eat and meet and great).

When I read the program, I saw that Roy Clark and John Conlee were going to perform. Nice bonus! I don’t remember what Emmylou Harris sang, but Vince Gill sang a song about Merle Haggard’s passing that was great. Roy Clark sang “What a Wonderful World,” while a friend played the keyboard. John Conlee, of course, pulled out the rose-colored glasses and sang “Rose-Colored Glasses – as only he can do. (Check out my pictures on Instagram).

Then it was over, and we were on the way to Memphis. We checked in at the hotel, and headed for Beale Street. In the place we went for barbeque, there was a band playing. Within three songs of us sitting down, the band did Rose-Colored Glasses – just saying. Back to the hotel with a to go box. In the morning we packed, checked out, and headed for Dallas.

Peace be with you.

Okay, so it’s not really a tour. But since I wrote a song for Sack Summer Hunger, I have played it at every show and talked about SSH to increase awareness and support – both volunteers and donations – before the program begins on June 11. So it is, in a way, a tour. Several of the “shows” consisted of playing “What the Lord Intends” for congregations of churches. Which included the congregation of The Norkirk Presbyterian Church Sunday morning. The tour ends this coming Sunday, June 5th, with the Sack Summer Hunger Concert.
[The video is of my show at Angela’s during the DSA Showcase. The SSH song is third.]

The Norkirk is a very friendly church. I felt welcome right away. I was looking forward to seeing Nancy Pratt, who is the Christian Education Director. Nancy and I went to high school together. I wrote for the school paper and Nancy was my first in a long line of editors throughout the years.

I wrote a music review column for the paper. I reviewed albums, books, concerts, and so forth. Since it was for school, my parents paid for most of the concerts. I saw a lot of concerts. I would write my column in the style of Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe – as a participant rather than an observer.

I never knew how much space was available in the next issue. So I would write until the column was finished. Usually on deadline day, or rather deadline hour. The newspaper office had a manual typewriter. After an hour or more of frantic typing, my fingers were sore, but I had a finished column. She would tell me she had room for 250 words. I would hand her the final copy.

“Here’s 400. You choose the 250.”

I actually think I said that to her once. I hope it was only once, but I doubt it. I wasn’t really trying to be pompous. I had written it as a complete piece and would have a hard time cutting it down. Mainly because I was covering a lot of events, depending on the month. I don’t know that she even remembers, but I will apologize when I get a chance.

I walked into the church to smiles and hellos. I set my guitar down when I spotted the restroom. On my way, Rev. Bill Parr approached me.

“You must be here for our minute for mission.”

“I am.”

“Bill Parr,” he said as he shook my hand. “ We’re glad you’re here.”

After I did what was necessary, I picked my guitar up and went into the sanctuary. I didn’t know what to do, so I set my guitar down at the rear of the sanctuary. I looked up and there was Charlotte and Bruce Gibson. I went over and hugged Charlotte and shook Bruce’s hand.

I was in a band with Bruce’s dad and Charlotte’s ex, Bruce, and Joel Nichols, named Southern Plains. Joel and I were a duo for twenty-five years, with Bruce joining in when we played in Dallas and he was able. Joel and I had a band when we made enough money to pay them. Joel died in 1999. Bruce and I played at his funeral.

I went up in the front of the sanctuary and set my guitar case down out of the way. I pulled out my guitar and quickly tuned it. Several people greeted me and thanked me for being there. Then Nancy came up and gave me a hug. She introduced other members that had gone to W.T. White.

The service was an experience in fellowship. John Reas gave me a very nice introduction. I played What the Lord Intends (Sack Summer Hunger) and the congregation appreciated it, judging from the applause.

I appreciate all of the old friends I meet, and I hope I continue to run into old friends. As well as meet new friends who will become old friends. Far too many old friends are no longer with us.

Peace be with you.

 

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